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Admissions officers read thousands of essays each application season, and they may devote as little as five minutes to reviewing a student’s entire application. That means it’s critical to have a well-structured essay with a compelling introduction. As you write and revise your essay, look for opportunities to make your introduction more engaging.
There’s one golden rule for a great introduction: don’t give too much away. Your reader shouldn’t be able to guess the entire trajectory of the essay after reading the first sentence. A striking or unexpected opening captures the reader’s attention, raises questions, and makes them want to keep reading to the end.
If you get the admissions officer to read your essay a little more closely than another applicant’s, you give yourself more opportunity to show off how you can provide what the college is looking for in a candidate.Start with a surprise
A great introduction often has an element of mystery. Consider the following opening statement.
Example hookI’ve never been good at breathing.
This opener is unexpected, even bizarre—what could this student be getting at? How can you be bad at breathing?
The student goes on to describe her experience with asthma and how it has affected her life. It’s not a strange topic, but the introduction is certainly intriguing. This sentence keeps the admissions officer reading, giving the student more of an opportunity to keep their attention and make her point.
In a sea of essays with standard openings such as “One life-changing experience for me was …” or “I overcame an obstacle when …,” this introduction stands out. The student could have used either of those more generic introductions, but neither would have been as successful.
This type of introduction is a true “hook”—it’s highly attention-grabbing, and the reader has to keep reading to understand.Start with a vivid, specific image
If your topic doesn’t lend itself to such a surprising opener, you can also start with a vivid, specific description.
Many essays focus on a particular experience, and describing one moment from that experience can draw the reader in. You could focus on small details of what you could see and feel, or drop the reader right into the middle of the story with dialogue or action.
Bad exampleI learned the true meaning of pressure during my first gymnastics competition when I was 7 years old. After months of hard work, it all came down to the final moments of my balance beam routine. Good exampleI wiped the sweat from my head and tried to catch my breath. I was nearly there—just one more back tuck and a strong dismount and I’d have nailed a perfect routine.
Some students choose to write more broadly about themselves and use some sort of object or metaphor as the focus. If that’s the type of essay you’d like to write, you can describe that object in vivid detail, encouraging the reader to imagine it.
Bad exampleMy favorite Spotify playlist says a lot about me. Good exampleAfter hours sitting in my room staring at the screen, I’d completed it: my sonic alter ego. Pushing back against the worn blue office chair in my bedroom, I sighed contentedly, knowing that I had successfully spawned the Spotify playlist that was my spiritual twin.Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.
Try for freeAvoid clichés
Cliché essay introductions express ideas that are stereotypical or generally thought of as conventional wisdom. Ideas like “My family made me who I am today” or “I accomplished my goals through hard work and determination” may genuinely reflect your life experience, but they aren’t unique or particularly insightful.
Unoriginal essay introductions are easily forgotten and don’t demonstrate a high level of creative thinking. A college essay is intended to give insight into the personality and background of an applicant, so a standard, one-size-fits-all introduction may lead admissions officers to think they are dealing with a standard, unremarkable applicant.
Bad exampleI have always made the best of bad situations. Good exampleLast November, I accidentally became a firefighter. In a rehearsal for a school play when a lighting fixture malfunctioned and the set caught fire, I helped extinguish it. Bad example“It’s not the number of breaths we take, but the number of moments that take our breath away.” As I look at the balance beam beneath my feet, I feel breathless from the excitement of my gymnastics competition. Good exampleAs I looked at the balance beam beneath my feet, my coach’s words echoed in my mind: “Visualize what you want.”Other interesting articles
If you want to know more about academic writing, effective communication, or parts of speech, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.Frequently asked questions about college application essays Cite this Scribbr article
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A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay. It usually comes near the end of your introduction.
Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you’re writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across. Everything else in your essay should relate back to this idea.
You can write your thesis statement by following four simple steps:What is a thesis statement?
A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay. It is a signpost telling the reader what the essay will argue and why.
The best thesis statements are:
Concise: A good thesis statement is short and sweet—don’t use more words than necessary. State your point clearly and directly in one or two sentences.
Contentious: Your thesis shouldn’t be a simple statement of fact that everyone already knows. A good thesis statement is a claim that requires further evidence or analysis to back it up.
Coherent: Everything mentioned in your thesis statement must be supported and explained in the rest of your paper.Placement of the thesis statement
The thesis statement generally appears at the end of your essay introduction or research paper introduction.
Example of an essay introduction
The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts and among young people more generally is hotly debated. For many who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education: the internet facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.What can proofreading do for your paper?
Scribbr editors not only correct grammar and spelling mistakes, but also strengthen your writing by making sure your paper is free of vague language, redundant words, and awkward phrasing.
See editing exampleStep 1: Start with a question
You should come up with an initial thesis, sometimes called a working thesis, early in the writing process. As soon as you’ve decided on your essay topic, you need to work out what you want to say about it—a clear thesis will give your essay direction and structure.
You might already have a question in your assignment, but if not, try to come up with your own. What would you like to find out or decide about your topic?
For example, you might ask:
Has the internet had a positive or negative impact on education?
What impact did the invention of braille (the raised-dot reading system used by blind and visually impaired people) have?Step 2: Write your initial answer
After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process.
The internet has had more of a positive than a negative effect on education. The invention of braille improved the lives of blind people.Step 3: Develop your answer
Now you need to consider why this is your answer and how you will convince your reader to agree with you. As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed.
In your essay about the internet and education, the thesis states your position and sketches out the key arguments you’ll use to support it.
Argumentative thesis statement
The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education because it facilitates easier access to information.
In your essay about braille, the thesis statement summarizes the key historical development that you’ll explain.
Expository thesis statement
The invention of braille in the 19th century transformed the lives of blind people, allowing them to participate more actively in public life.Step 4: Refine your thesis statement
A strong thesis statement should tell the reader:
Why you hold this position
What they’ll learn from your essay
The key points of your argument or narrative
The final thesis statement doesn’t just state your position, but summarizes your overall argument or the entire topic you’re going to explain. To strengthen a weak thesis statement, it can help to consider the broader context of your topic.
Example: Improved thesis statement on internet useThe negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education: it facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers. Example: Improved thesis statement on the invention of brailleThe invention of braille transformed the lives of blind people in the 19th century, but its success depended on mainstream acceptance by sighted teachers, and this process was shaped by debates about disabled people’s place in society.
These examples are more specific and show that you’ll explore your topic in depth.Types of thesis statements
Your thesis statement should match the goals of your essay, which vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing:
In an argumentative essay, your thesis statement should take a strong position. Your aim in the essay is to convince your reader of this thesis based on evidence and logical reasoning.
In an expository essay, you’ll aim to explain the facts of a topic or process. Your thesis statement doesn’t have to include a strong opinion in this case, but it should clearly state the central point you want to make, and mention the key elements you’ll explain.
Example: Argumentative essay thesis statementAlthough surveillance is viewed negatively by many people, its positive social effects outweigh its downsides. Greater surveillance in public areas helps maintain public order and ensures the personal safety of citizens. Example: Expository essay thesis statementThe European Renaissance is closely linked to the economic wealth of Italy in the Middle Ages. The development of Italian port towns as major trading posts during the Crusades, along with the establishment of banking systems, made patronage of the arts and sciences possible.Frequently asked questions about thesis statements Cite this Scribbr article
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It is necessary to have a PC especially when you are already in college. They are not only used for academic purposes but also for entertainment and social interaction. It can be used in internet browsing, watching movies, playing online games, and for other purposes.
Well, as a student, the kind of laptop you want to buy is based more likely on your budget. Picking a laptop is difficult when you have tons of specifications you want to consider with a limited budget.Here is a quick guide that might help you to choose the best laptop for your current needs. How to Choose a Laptop for College 1. Choose your preferred budget range.
Also read: Best ecommerce platform in 20232. Pick your preferred operating system.
Laptops have three types of platforms namely MacOS, Windows, and ChromeOS. Picking the perfect operating system is a personal decision. Here is a summary of what each platform can offer.
Nowadays, Windows 10 is the most famous among the three. Generally, this is the default operating system on every PC except Apple computers. It is simple to utilize.
There are no restrictions when installing any kind of software. Take note that it is your responsibility to choose the type of app you will install. For the reason that sometimes there can be a trojan virus hidden on the app you are about to download.
Also, be mindful that there are times that an app is available in Windows but not in MacOS and vice versa. WindowsOS has a starting price of under 150USD but if you still cannot afford it, you can try laptops with LinuxOS.
Buying a PC with a pre-installed LinuxOS can be a good decision if you do not want to spend much money. But, if you want to change it into Windows, you can buy a copy of the licensed OS depending on the version you will choose.3. Choose a reliable processor and RAM
Choosing a good processor for your needs is quite not simple. Most laptops have AMD and Intel processors. If your purpose in buying one is generally for academic requirements and light computer games only then, Intel Core i3 and AMD A-series (A6 or A8) processor is enough for your needs.
However, if you are a student that is into programming, uses graphic design software, animation, and even heavy gamers, then you might need to spend more. You should consider getting Intel Core i5, i7, or AMD A10 processors.
Also read: Best Top 10 Paid Online Survey Website in the World4. Decide your preferred battery
A laptop battery is a crucial thing. Its importance is the same as choosing a processor and RAM. Since you are still a student, you might not have the chance to monitor the battery life of your laptop and charge it once drained.
One way to determine the capacity of your battery is by checking its rating and reviews. Make research and look for its specifications on the website of its manufacturer.
Then, you can consider to avail writing services that will fit your budget. Many services will make you pass your academic papers on time and helps you to achieve high remarks.
Rahul Ghundiyal is CEO of RNG SEO. He has been working on SEO since 2013 and working within limits makes him feel good. He also has personal blog Techssocial which share informative articles to read. You can connect him on LinkedIn.
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What is Bug Report? Why do you need a good bug report?
The purpose of this post-testing documentation is to provide information to the concerned team of professionals about the level of bugs encountered during the testing process.
Your software development engineer can be made aware of all the defects and issues present in the software using this type of report. It also lets you figure out what’s wrong with a bug, so you can use the best method to fix it. It also helps you to save your time and money by helping you catch bugs and issues.Why should you care about good bug explanations?
Here is the point that you need to consider for writing a good, detailed software bug report:
It acts as a guide to help avoid the same bug in future releases.
Save time for communication (e-mails, calls).
Less work for developers (they will do exactly what you want).
You will have less bottlenecks in the project; bugs will be fixed faster and more efficient way.
How to Write Bug Report (Bug Report Template)
There is no exact bug report template, as it depends upon your bug-tracking system. Your template might be different.
However, the following common fields are always needed when you want to write a bug report:
Bug id/ Title.
Severity and Priority.
Steps to reproduce.
Attachments (screenshots, videos, text)
Let’s look at all these bug-tacking components one by one:1) Title/Bug ID:
Every bug should be given a unique identification number. Bug reporting tools should be unique numbers for the newly raised bugs so we can easily identify the bug.
❌ Bad: “I can’t see the product when I again, tyrp it doesn’t.”
asks for a solution to be implemented.
✅ Good: “CART – New items added to the cart that does not appear”.
This kind of Title instantly locates the issue (CART)
It focuses on the actual technical problem.2) Bug Severity:
Bug severity is a very important factor in the bug report. It describes the effect of the defect on the application’s performance.
Blocker: This error causes the app to fail.
Major: A critical error indicates a major change in the business logic.
Minor: An issue that doesn’t affect the application’s functionality but does affect the expected results.
Trivial: It does not affect the functionality or operation of the app. It could be a typographical error.3) Bug Priority:
Following is the general gradation to decide bug priority:
High: It covers anything which affects the flow or blocks app usage.
Minor: All other errors like (typos, missing icons, layout issues, etc.).4) Environment:
A Bug can appear in a specific environment and not others. For example, sometimes a bug appears when running the website on Firefox, or an app malfunction only when running on an Android device and working fine on iPhone.
These bug reports can only be identified with cross-browser or cross-device testing. So, when reporting the bug, QAs should be able to specify if the bug should be observed in one or more specific environments.5) Summary:
However, adding only the Title in the bug report does not serve the purpose. So, if your Title isn’t enough, you can add a short report summary.
Your summary in as few words as possible including when and how the bug occurred. Your Title and bug description should also be used in searches, so you must ensure you have covered important keywords.
6) Steps to reproduce:
When reporting a bug, it is important to specify the steps to reproduce it. You should also include actions that may cause the bug. Here, don’t make any generic statements.
Be specific on the steps to follow:
Here, is an example of well-written procedure:
Select product X1.7) Expected result:
In bug reports, describing the expected result per the technical task, test case outcomes design, or according to the tester’s opinion is important. All this helps developers to focus on quickly finding needed information.
For example:8) Actual result:
As it names suggests, this s field describes the actual effect of the bug. It is very important to write a clear description of the actual result.
For example:9) Attachments (screenshots and videos):
In bug reports, it is best practice to attach files to bug reports which makes it easier to perceive information when you need to display it visually:
Screenshot: Screenshots can easily elaborate mistakes in the program; s convenient when the bug is highlighted with a specific annotation, circle, or arrow image).
Video: Sometimes, it is difficult to describe the bug in words, so it’s better to create a video so that developer can rectify the defect in the program).10) Affected Version:
It is the affected software version where the bug is reported.11) Fix Version:
It is the software version in which the bug is resolved. So when the QA who reported the bug, checks whether it is fixed, he uses the correct software version.12) Target version:
The target version where a bug should be targeted to be fixed. So, when the development team works on fixing a bug, they mostly target a particular application version.13) Date Closed:
It is the date when the bug is closed by the software testing team. Closing a bug is a vital and integral part of software testing.14) Status:
When a new bug is created, its status should be open. After that, it goes through stages like In Progress, Fixed, Running, Reopen, etc.Tips for Bug Report Writing
Here are some important tips that you should remember while writing an effective bug report:
Be specific when creating bug reports. Make sure you don’t include any useless or irrelevant facts.
You must report the bug immediately as soon as it gets detected.
Prepare the report in detail to empower the developer to use the facts and the information to debug the issue.
You should test the same bug occurrence on other similar modules for validation.
Review the bug report at least once before submitting it.
You should ensure that the bug report contains the description of only one error.
Lastly, you should not be afraid to ask the Project Manager for help if you feel unclear about something.Bug Reporting tools
The bug reporting process, performed manually, is now being performed with various bug reporting tools available in the market.
Zoho Bug Tracker
You can check our detailed review of the best bug reporting tool.Common Problem and Solution while Writing a bug report:
Here are some common problems and their solutions while writing a bug report:
Bug Report Example Problem
When multiplying 2 by 3, the answer will be positive. Report the pattern, not an example.
The list will be ordered alphabetically when adding a new item to avoid this. Don’t only describe what’s wrong
To being, you will need to open your browser and type the site’s URL. You’ll find the first field, ‘username,’ misspelled. Always direct to the point (Never tell the story!).
The client’s name in the report is misspelled. Priority: High, Severity: High Never mix priority and severity.
The tax calculation formula is INCORRECT !!?? Does not use CAPS, red letters, red circles, ‘!’,
I don’t think that the home page Ul design is good. Don’t use your judgment.
Example of unclear description: About our discussion today, please do the required action for this page. Make your description understandable for everyone.
This is not good as it is unclear what is needed from the web development and design team
Minimize the options
The tax calculation formula is sometimes not working as expected. The golden rule: Don’t use the word ‘Sometimes’.Example of Bug Report
Here is a small example of a bug report:
[MY ACCOUNT] Underline is displayed when mouseovering on the Update button.
Description: We need to remove the underline when mouseovering on the Update button in My Account section.
Browser/OS: Chrome 25. OSX Yosemite 10.10.2
Steps to reproduce:
2. Login via login credentials
3. Navigate to My Account
4. Mouseover on the Update button
Actual result: there is an underline.
Expected Result: no underline.Must avoid mistakes in bug report writing
Here are some important mistakes that you should avoid while writing a bug report:
Don’t write about your dissatisfaction, and never include your personal feelings.
It annoys people who want to focus on the task when you overload your post with many emoticons.
Never overload your post with exclamation points; it does not speed up the work.
Nobody wants to feel offended. It destroys motivation and slows the realization of the issue.
This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon.
In 2023 Google AI released a self-supervised learning model called BERT for learning language representations. And then, in 2023, Yinhan Liu et al. (Meta AI) proposed a robustly optimized approach called RoBERTa (Robustly Optimized BERT-Pretraining Approach) for pretraining natural language processing (NLP) systems that improve on Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT).
In this article, we will take a look a look at the RoBERTa in more detail.
Now, let’s jump right in!Highlights
RoBERTa is a reimplementation of BERT with some modifications to the key hyperparameters and tiny embedding tweaks, along with a setup for RoBERTa pre-trained models.
In RoBERTa, we don’t need to define which token belongs to which segment or use token_type_ids. With the aid of the separation token tokenizer.sep_token (or), we can easily divide the segments.
CamemBERT is a wrapper around RoBERTa.What Prompted the Researchers to Develop a RoBERTa-like Model?
The Facebook AI and the University of Washington researchers found that the BERT model was remarkably undertrained, and they suggested making several changes to the pretraining process to improve the BERT model’s performance.RoBERTa Model Architecture
RoBERTa model shares the same architecture as the BERT model. It is a reimplementation of BERT with some modifications to the key hyperparameters and minor embedding tweaks.
Figure 1: Architecture of BERT model
Moreover, rather than the 16GB dataset that was originally used to train BERT, RoBERTa is trained on a massive dataset that spans over 160GB of uncompressed text. The dataset for RoBERTa contains (16GB) of English Wikipedia and Books Corpus, which are used in BERT. Additional data included the Web text corpus (38 GB), CommonCrawl News dataset (63 million articles, 76 GB), and Stories from Common Crawl (31 GB). This dataset, along with 1024 running V100 Tesla GPUs for a day, was used to pre-train RoBERTa.
To create RoBERTa, the Facebook team first ported BERT from Google’s TensorFlow deep-learning framework to their framework, PyTorch.
RoBERTa is trained with i) FULL-SENTENCES without NSP loss, ii) dynamic masking, iii) large mini-batches, and iv) a larger byte-level BPE.
The key differences between RoBERTa and BERT can be summarized as follows:
RoBERTa is a reimplementation of BERT with some modifications to the key hyperparameters and minor embedding tweaks. It uses a byte-level BPE as a tokenizer (similar to GPT-2) and a different pretraining scheme.
RoBERTa is trained for longer sequences, too, i.e. the number of iterations is increased from 100K to 300K and then further to 500K.
RoBERTa uses larger byte-level BPE vocabulary with 50K subword units instead of character-level BPE vocabulary of size 30K used in BERT.
In the Masked Language Model (MLM) training objective, RoBERTa employs dynamic masking to generate the masking pattern every time a sequence is fed to the model.
RoBERTa doesn’t use token_type_ids, and we don’t need to define which token belongs to which segment. Just separate segments with the separation token tokenizer.sep_token (or ).
The next sentence prediction (NSP) objective is removed from the training procedure.
Larger mini-batches and learning rates are used in RoBERTa’s training.Evaluation Results of RoBERTa
i) Training with dynamic masking:
The original BERT implementation performs masking during data preprocessing, which results in a single static mask. This approach was contrasted with dynamic masking, in which a new masking pattern is created each time a sequence is fed to the model. Dynamic masking was on par with or slightly better than static masking.
Table 1: Comparison between static and dynamic masking for BERTBASE .
Considering the above results, the dynamic masking approach is employed for pretraining RoBERTa.
ii) FULL-SENTENCES without NSP loss:
Next, training without the NSP loss and training are compared with blocks of text from a single document (doc-sentences). It was found that this setting works better than the originally published BERTBASE results and that dropping off the NSP loss matches or slightly improves downstream task performance.
Table 2: Table illustrating the performance of RoBERTa with and without NSP loss
It was noted that restricting sequences that come from a single document (DOC-SENTENCES) performs slightly better than plugging sequences from multiple documents (FULL-SENTENCES). However, since the DOC-SENTENCES format results in variable batch sizes, FULL-SENTENCES are used in RoBERTa for easier comparison.
iii) Training with large batches:
Training with large batch sizes accelerates optimization and increases task accuracy. In addition, distributed data-parallel training makes it easier to parallelize large batches. When the model is tuned properly, large batch sizes can make the model perform better at a given task.
Table 3: Comparison of Performance of the RoBERTa on different tasks with varying Batch Sizes
iv) A larger byte-level BPE:
Byte-pair encoding is a hybrid of character-level and word-level representations that can handle the large vocabularies common in natural language corpora. Instead of using the character-level BPE vocabulary of size 30K used in BERT, RoBERTa uses a larger byte-level BPE vocabulary with 50K subword units (without extra preprocessing or tokenization of the input).
All these findings highlight the importance of previously unexplored design choices in BERT training and help distinguish the relative contributions of data size, training time, and pretraining objectives.Key Achievements of RoBERTa
RoBERTa model delivered SoTA performance on the MNLI, QNLI, RTE, STS-B, and RACE tasks (back then) and an improved performance gain on the GLUE benchmark. With a score of 88.5, RoBERTa took the top spot on the GLUE leaderboard.
Table 4: Comparison of BERT and successive improvements over itDrawbacks of RoBERTa
Training such models can be prohibitive and have a large carbon footprint.Can we Make a Direct Comparison between RoBERTa and XLNeT?
“In addition to the differences you already mentioned, XLNet and RoBERTa’s data sizes and composition differ. We ultimately decided against comparing this work directly to XLNet-large since we will need to retrain XLNet on our data.”How to Use RoBERTa in Projects?
Huggingface’s Transformers library provides a variety of pre-trained RoBERTa models in different model sizes and for different tasks. To provide an example, in this post, we will be focusing on how to load the model and perform emotion classification.
We will need a RoBERTa model fine-tuned on the task-specific dataset for this. So we will use a pre-trained model (“cardiffnlp/twitter-roberta-base-emotion“) from the hub.
We must first install and import all the necessary packages and load the model from RobertaForSequenceClassification (which has a classification head) and tokenizer from RobertaTokenizer.!pip install -q transformers #Importing the necessary packages import torch from transformers import RobertaTokenizer, RobertaForSequenceClassification #Loading the model and tokenizer model_name = "cardiffnlp/twitter-roberta-base-emotion" tokenizer = RobertaTokenizer.from_pretrained(model_name) model = RobertaForSequenceClassification.from_pretrained(model_name) #Tokenizing the input inputs = tokenizer("I love my cat", return_tensors="pt") #Retrieving the logits and using them for predicting the underlying emotion with torch.no_grad(): logits = model(**inputs).logits predicted_class_id = logits.argmax().item() model.config.id2label[predicted_class_id] >> Output: Optimism
The output is “Optimism,” which is right given the pre-defined labels of the classification model we used. We can use another pre-trained model or fine-tune one to get results that output more appropriate labels.Conclusion
To summarize, in this article, we learned the following:
The RoBERTa model shares the BERT model’s architecture. It is a reimplementation of BERT with some modifications to the key hyperparameters and tiny embedding tweaks.
RoBERTa is trained on a massive dataset of over 160GB of uncompressed text instead of the 16GB dataset originally used to train BERT. Moreover, RoBERTa is trained with i) FULL-SENTENCES without NSP loss, ii) dynamic masking, iii) large mini-batches, and iv) a larger byte-level BPE.
Most performance gains result from better training, more powerful computing, or increased data. While these have value, they often trade off computation efficiency for prediction accuracy. There is a need to develop more sophisticated, capable, and multi-task fine-tuning methods that can improve performance using fewer data and computing power.
4. We can not directly compare XLNET and RoBERTa since we will need to train XLNET on data used for training the RoBERTa model.
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Writing content for a website is easy. Writing good, search-engine-friendly content for a website is hard. Writing great search and user-friendly content for your website is, well, pretty dang difficult. There is a lot that has to be considered when trying to engage your audience because you’re not writing for an audience of one, but of many. And all of them have a personality and motivations of their very own!
When creating engaging content, there are two concepts that you must first understand: why visitors are on your site and what they want to find. These two concepts can be translated into two words: personas and personalities.
Personality = temperament (how they navigate, what they need to see or read to find what they want)
If you want to create content that engages with your audience and motivates them to take the conversion action you desire, you have to get into the mind of the visitor. Know what they want and why, and then you can create content that engages readers on their level and allows your content to meet their specific needs.
I’ll cover the personality aspect of writing in another post. Here we’ll discuss how to create personas that help you understand your visitors’ motivations, why they are on your site and how your content can convert them based on that knowledge.Using Personas to See Your Visitor’s Needs
Because there can be dozens, if not hundreds, of reasons a visitor might be coming to your site, it’s easy to get bogged down in trying to develop a persona for every possibility. Don’t get stuck in that trap. With a little work, you can boil everything into a handful of personas that you can use to craft content that meets virtually all of your potential customer’s needs.
I’ve developed three very basic personas that can provide a solid framework for just about any visitor. This is by no means comprehensive, nor will they work for every kind of site, but it can give you a general idea how to quickly put together a persona you can work with. You’ll want to put more work into analyzing visitors to your site specifically, but this should give you start.The “how-to” Persona
This person is an information seeker. They are not necessarily looking to buy a product or service, but want to learn how do it themselves. This visitor likes checklists, how-to guides, videos and any other information they can get their digital hands on. Basically, they are information and knowledge seekers. Usually they are looking for free information, but some are willing to pay if the value is there.
Example: Athena goes to a baby products site to find out how to properly install a car seat in her Raptor. Her goal is to learn how install the seat properly, with minimal work, and without teaching her baby, Hera, how to say “fracking”, “fracked up”, “frack it” or any other of its variables.
How-to videos or step-by-step instructions give Athena and her hubby, Helo, exactly what they are looking for. This type of free how-to content doesn’t create immediate sales, but it does build brand loyalists. Athena may never become a customer, but she may share information about your site with Starbuck, who also has a child. Or, Athena may post about it on her blog, sharing your content (and brand name) with all of the 12 colonies!The “I care” Persona
These people are usually researching something they care about, and a thoughtful approach is necessary. They are passionate about a topic and likely consider themselves extremely knowledgeable, if not “experts.” Anything less than authoritative content will likely leave them unimpressed. Your job is to show them how your product or service is going to meet their needs and convince them it is the best solution.
Example: Gaeta goes to a baby products site looking for a safe and reliable car seat. He’s been reading (on your site?) about the importance of car seats, which car seats have better safety ratings, and learning how to install them properly in a number of spacecraft. His goal is to buy the best seat possible, regardless of price. Whistles and bells are a secondary concern. If you can provide the information that satisfies Gaeta’s informational needs, and have the product in stock, you’ve got yourself a reliable customer.The “Just get it to me” Persona
They are the type that don’t really know what they want but don’t care about much of anything other than, “how do I get this (or do this) fast?” They have a need but are unsure on how to best to fill that need. They just want a product or service that gives them the desire result.
Example: Tigh needs a car seat. To him (and Ellen, his wife), all car seats are essentially the same. They don’t understand why one is more expensive than the other, unless it comes with apps that tap directly into the CIC, or allow him to order his next bottle (his or the baby’s) through a network-connected device. Most likely Tigh will choose the least expensive car seat available, as long as it works and it has a place to hold his flask. Given the right information in the right way, Tigh can be convinced to pay more for certain features.
You can see how each of these personas gives you ammunition for creating content that will meet the needs and expectations of each. Some content may be stand-alone for each persona, however it’s possible to incorporate elements (or links) for each of these into a single page. The better your personas, the better targeted your content will be, and more likely it will be to produce the conversions you want.
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